Influencer accused of doxxing after sharing dating blacklist
Pharmacy grad asked TikTok users to share details on men, with allegations from cheating to sexual assault
An influencer who facilitated a group chat where the personal details of Singaporean men and reasons not to date them were shared has been accused by netizens of doxxing.
The open document purportedly compiled the details of dozens of men from anonymous users, with allegations ranging from cheating to sexual assault.
Ms Koh Boon Ki, 22, a recent pharmacy graduate from the National University of Singapore, made a post on TikTok on Sunday about creating the group.
She said the group on Telegram would be for "girls from all the dating apps in Singapore" to "discuss the guys we've talked to and dates we've been on".
She added that she was tired of having to look out for red flags when it came to dating and should know all about a person before even talking to him.
The post by Ms Koh, who has more than 112,000 followers on TikTok, has been viewed more than 180,000 times.
Shortly after the post, a Telegram group titled "sg dating adventures" was created, along with a Google spreadsheet titled "Dating Guide SG" shared in the chat.
The document was split into two tabs, labelled "Blacklist" and "Avoid". The allegations against these men ranged from cheating to coercion and sexual assault.
The group and document purportedly grew as more users joined and contributed on Sunday.
But the chat soon devolved to include discussions about the sexual prowess or lack thereof of certain men.
While many TikTok users lauded Ms Koh for her actions, others urged her to shut it down, saying it could be abused to frame innocent people.
Ms Koh was accused of doxxing and harassment by other TikTok users, as the document and chat shared personal details of the men such as their full names and contact details.
In an Instagram post in the early hours of yesterday morning, Ms Koh claimed the group chat was closed.
The document, however, appears to still be online but with access limited to certain users.
Ms Koh did not respond to requests for comment.
Criminal lawyer Joshua Tong of Kalco Law said Ms Koh may be liable to criminal prosecution under the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha).
He said that as a popular influencer, by creating the chat and document and posting about it on TikTok, she should have known that it would be shared widely and would go viral.
"Given the wide reach and potential shame and embarrassment that it may cause the victims to an extremely wide audience, this may be seen as more aggravating and the court may deem that a strict deterrent sentence is required," said Mr Tong.
He added that while both the creators and contributors would likely be caught under Poha, the first port of call for the authorities would likely be the creator of the group.
"It's like uploading and downloading illegal content," he said. "The authorities usually go after the ones who are uploading or hosting."
But Mr Tong warned that those who contributed could also be prosecuted.
Ms Kelly Leow, communications manager at the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware), warned that endeavours like these are potentially problematic.
"There is always the chance of inaccurate or possibly malicious information being submitted through an open document," she said.
"The criminal justice system, while not flawless in its handling of sexual violence cases, does involve certain standards of investigation conducted by trained professionals and is therefore more reliable than documents or accounts run by private individuals."
However, Ms Leow said it is important to think also about why such documents are made.
"Before we write them off as crude or irresponsible, we have to ask ourselves why sexual violence survivors are turning to such methods to share experiences of sexual assault in the first place," she said.
Aware's Sexual Assault Care Centre saw 19 cases last year involving perpetrators who met their victims on dating apps.
Under Poha, those who publish the personal information of another to cause harassment, alarm or distress, may be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $5,000.
Those convicted of defamation under the Penal Code may be jailed for up to two years and fined.